National Training Squad Update – February 2021

By Matt Stevens
February 26, 2021

A New Year has arrived!

2021 begins, and with it a new year and a fresh start for the NTS after what was a stagnant and disappointing 2020. For your information:

  • TBA’s National Training Squad (NTS) consists of five squads of the best athletes Australia has to offer; across Junior, Youth, Men, Women and Senior divisions (male and female).
  • We have 5 Head Coaches, along with Assistant Coaches and Managers, who are all committed to delivering a high quality training program to assist our best athletes to achieve their best.
  • Our NTS athletes, coaches and managers are all part of Team Australia. They are the pool from which TBA selects our teams to send overseas, representing Australia at international events.

Each month, I will be providing a brief update around the NTS, bringing you up to date with what’s been happening, and hopefully helping you to familiarise yourself with some of our local stars in our wonderful sport.

COVID Cancellations:

Unfortunately, 2021 has already brought with it ongoing degrees of outbreaks, border closures and hot spots.

These have caused the cancellation of some ranked events, and have limited training opportunities, competition and freedom of movement; not such a good start so far.

International Bowling Federation (IBF) has already postponed their scheduled World Events until 2022; meaning any National Teams and international travel in 2021 is very unlikely. Our NTS squads have been informed of this, and rightfully share our disappointment. We have to stay strong, remain safe, and continue to develop in the meantime.

Localised Focus:

Considering the world’s current climate, the best we can do is have a localised focus for now – what can we do here in Australia? Moving forward in 2021, the NTS will see some changes to reflect our current times. More information will follow to expand on our initiatives.

  • More emphasis will be placed on providing opportunities to train, learn and develop on a local (State) basis.
  • Where possible, the need to travel will be reduced. If it is necessary, consideration will need to be given to health and safety, as well as possible looming changes may be imposed regarding borders and outbreaks.
  • Just because we are limited by COVID, does not mean we relax, stop training and give up our focus. True champions will find another way. The NTS must develop new ways to bring knowledge, current techniques and technology to our athletes, ensuring we use this time to improve our approach and better ourselves as an international force in bowling.

Notable NTS Performances:

Each month moving forward, I would like to bring to your attention some of the amazing efforts from our NTS stars. This may be results from events they compete in, or through the other elements involved in their NTS journey.

We will start with a Raked event. Although still early in the year and a bit rare, on 29th January, we recently had a ranked event; the Darwin Tenpin Cup in NT.

  • With 7 of our NTS Adult Women’s Squad attending, NTS took out the top 4 positions in the Women. Grace Perry was champion, taking the title over Rebecca Voukolos, Bec Whiting and Kylie Bailey. In her first year as an adult NTS athlete (after aging from Youth), this was Grace Perry’s first major event win, and she did it in style against a top field of tough competitors. Well done Grace. A great achievement for all our Ladies.
  • One of our NTS Youth Boys, Matthew Purser, also competed in the event and finished a fine 3rd in the men’s division; and this included a fine 300 game. Great work Matthew. You should be proud.
  • In her final year as an NTS Junior athlete, Hannah Clark competed in this open event and finished a respectable 8th in the women’s division against a tough field of adults. Top effort Hannah.
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Great to see so many of our top athletes make their way to Darwin in these difficult times, and show that they have what it takes. Your efforts are notable, and should be commended.

Please stay tuned for more news and achievements in the coming months. In the meantime, stay safe, stay healthy, and continue to bowl well.